Clean the video heads

Article ID: ART154776 | Date published: 06/09/2015 | Date last updated: 08/17/2015


Clean the video heads


Cleaning the video heads

  • When the message "HEADS DIRTY, USE CLEANING CASSETTE" appears, or when the playback picture becomes distorted, the video heads need to be cleaned.
  • To maintain the best picture quality, we recommend regular cleanings of the video heads with the Canon DVM-CL Digital Video Head Cleaning Cassette or a commercially available dry cleaning cassette. See the procedure below for using the Canon DVM-DL
  • Tapes already recorded with dirty video heads may not be played back correctly even when you clean the video heads.
  • Do not use wet type cleaning cassettes as this may damage the camcorder.

Using the Canon DVM-CL Head Cleaning Cassette

  1. Insert the cleaning cassette into the video camcorder/VCR as you would with a standard MiniDV/HDV cassette.
  2. Press the PLAY or the start/stop button to start the tape running.
  3. After running the tape for about 10 seconds, press the STOP button or the start/stop button.
  4. Make a test recording with a new tape and then playback the recording to ensure that the heads have been fully cleaned. You may repeat the above process up to three additional times if necessary.
    - If after four cleanings the image quality is still poor your camcorder may require service.


  • Do not rewind the cleaning cassette after each use. Rewind the tape completely, only after it has reached the end. The entire tape can be used twice before replacement of the tape will be required.
  • If the cleaning cassette is used excessively, it may cause undue wear on the video heads.



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